Men's Football Blog

UCF Supporters Thank Cougar Fans

Sep 29, 2011 - Posted by Jordan Christiansen at 1:18 pm | Permalink

BYU athletics, along with media covering BYU, received compliments on Cougar fans' hospitality following last Friday's 24-17 win over UCF in Provo.

UCFVideos tweeted twice about his visit to Provo, saying "#BYU has the classiest fanbase I have ever witnessed. Fans were friendly before and after the game. Folks in #Provo are pure class," along with "My wife enjoyed the trip. Said she would love to bring our kids out here. I told her UCF had only signed a 1 and 1 with BYU."

The BYU athletics video coordinator also passed along another word of thanks from UCF video services after conducting him through a tour of the BYU Broadcasting facility.

Today, Daily Herald sports editor Jared Lloyd included a letter in his article today that he received from a UCF fan following the game (read his article here). The Knights fan's comments read in part:

"My wife Robin and I both traveled from Orlando to Provo to watch the UCF-BYU football game....we wanted to let you know what a GREAT time we had during our trip. From the moment we arrived in Provo, everyone we met was friendly and expressed their appreciation that we had chosen to come visit their beautiful city. En route to the game, we were stopped numerous times by BYU attired fans welcoming us and wishing the Knights good luck in the game."

While we cheer on our Cougars and support them to the fullest, thanks also to all of you Cougar fans who also go out of your way to welcome those who visit BYU. As we welcome Utah State this weekend and those members of other programs later this season who have never experienced a game day at LaVell Edwards Stadium, lets continue to show the country why we have the best fans and are the best place to play in the country.

More on senior running back Bryan Kariya

Sep 29, 2011 - Posted by Kenny Cox at 10:56 am | Permalink

Senior running back Bryan Kariya has been named a candidate for the 2011 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards.

For more on the NFF and the Scholar-Athlete Awards CLICK HERE.

Kariya, from Salt Lake, has a 3.9 GPA and is a Chinese major with a minor in business management. He is second on the Cougars in rushing and in last week's 24-17 victory over UCF  led the team with 14 carries, 52 yards and one touchdown to go along with a pair of receptions for 11 yards. He is one of 47 FBS athletes selected as a candidate.

As a captain of the BYU football team, Kariya has been able to set an example of hard work on the field, accompanied with hard work in both the classroom and in the community. He has been a leader on BYU’s team for years. He is often the first voice heard at practice, on the field or from the sideline encouraging his teammates.

Other academic achievements include being named to the 2010 ESPN Academic All-America Second Team as the only FBS Division I running back on the All-America team. He was also named to the 2010 ESPN Academic All-District VIII First Team and is a two-time MWC Scholar-Athlete and three-time Academic All-Mountain West Conference honoree.

He has been involved with several projects in the community, including volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club and speaking to youth at church functions and schools. Kariya has been involved with “Koins For Kenya,” a program to help bring educational opportunities to those that have none. He and his wife traveled to Africa in 2005 to help with the program.

On the field, Kariya played a huge role in 2009’s game against No. 3 Oklahoma, playing for an injured Harvey Unga, and rushing for 42 yards while catching four passes for 76 yards, including a 49-yard reception. He had at least one carry in every game of 2010 and 11 games of 2009. He is currently second on the team in rushing for 2011.

Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.

2011 NFF NATIONAL SCHOLAR-ATHLETE CANDIDATE NOTES
3.60 Average GPA
27 Nominees with a 3.9 GPA or better
6 Nominees with a perfect 4.0 GPA
86 Team Captains
56 All-Conference Picks
17 Academic All-America Selections
10 All-America Selections
27 Players (among all divisions) represented in this week's national top 25 polls
1 Player Formerly Named an NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete
47 Nominees from the Football Bowl Subdivision
33 Nominees from the Football Championship Subdivision
11 Nominees from the Division II
30 Nominees from the Division III
6 Nominees from the NAIA
61 Offensive Players
50 Defensive Players
16 Special Teams Players

A Look Inside the Indy Players of the Week Process

Sep 27, 2011 - Posted by Jordan Christiansen at 12:38 pm | Updated: October 10, 2011 3:15 pm | Permalink

The 2011 season marks the inaugural FBS Independent Player of the Week awards. But how are the weekly awards decided?

Once BYU football announced its move to go independent, a move was made to somehow recognize achievements among the four independent programs. When part of a conference, individual sports information departments submit nominations for each player in the offensive, defensive and special teams categories. Upon submission, a panel at conference headquarters then chose and announced the three players to be honored.

Without a conference a different process needed to occur. After speaking with Army, Navy and Notre Dame, it was decided that each school would recommend four media members to be part of a voting panel that would add two national writers who would vote on the three awards.

In the first four weeks of the award, all four schools have had at least one honoree, with Notre Dame leading the way with five awards. Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd has claimed the offensive award twice, helping the Irish take offensive honors three of the first four weeks.

BYU has thus far earned four recognitions, including two by sophomore linebacker Kyle Van Noy for his play against Ole Miss and UCF, respectively. The Cougars' other two honors have both come on special teams - kicker Justin Sorensen in week two for going 3 of 3 on field goals at Texas and kick returner Cody Hoffman in week four for his 129 return yards including a 93-yard return for a touchdown against UCF.

Last season, BYU had six MWC Players of the Week, including Riley Stephenson twice during the season, linebacker Brandon Ogletree midway through the season and Luke Ashworth, Andrew Rich and Mitch Payne each recognized after the Cougars' win at Colorado State.

Up Close: Hebron Fangupo

Sep 26, 2011 - Posted by Ralph R. Zobell at 2:35 pm | Updated: September 26, 2011 2:37 pm | Permalink

Take a closer look at senior defensive lineman Hebron Fangupo, as published in BYU-Central Florida game program:

Nickname: Loni
Favorite cold cereal: Free cereal
Favorite Bronco Mendenhall Quote: “What if”
Why did I choose to play football over other sports: they have clothes and shoes my size.
Before a football game, I: get ready.
How did I spend my off-season: with my wife.
Who is the best player I’ve ever faced: Kristoffer O’Dowd (USC Center).
What would I like to do sometime in my life is: visit every temple with my wife.
If I could play another position, what would it be:  Quarterback, because you can sneak it every play.
How did I select my jersey number: only one available.
What is my favorite hobby or activity away from football: read with my wife.
What is the best book I’ve ever read: Missionary Handbook
People say I look like:  Hebron Fangupo
My favorite professor or most interesting class I’ve taken at BYU:  Book of Mormon class
My favorite scripture: John 15:13
My favorite website: www.google.com
My advice to youngsters: Serve a mission.
If I were hosting you on a recruiting visit to Provo, the most impressive thing I’d have to show you is: the Temple.
One rule I’d change in college football is: off sides
If I could invite any people to dinner, who would they be: my beautiful wife Rebekah Lee Fangupo.

Friday Night Lights

Sep 20, 2011 - Posted by Kenny Cox at 5:24 pm | Permalink

The BYU football team is playing three Friday night games this season on ESPN. The first is coming up this weekend against UCF and the second is the following week against Utah State. The third Friday game is scheduled for October 28 against TCU, a neutral site game at Dallas Cowboys Stadium. Some have looked down at the Friday night games, with traditional college football being played on Saturdays. It also usually gives teams one less day to prepare. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall understands that while Friday night games might require harder work in preparation, they have their advantages.

"It certainly makes it difficult to prepare, but with this being the first year of independence some concessions have to be made to get the exposure we are hopeful for," Mendenhall said. "Hopefully I can coach the team to a level that we are playing at a level high enough where the exposure really helps us."

If you want exposure, Friday night games might be the way to get it. With one major college game scheduled each Friday night, all college football fan eyes will settle on that game. Several media members, college football analysts and even coaches and players will be in hotel rooms preparing for the next day's game and watch the Friday night ESPN game.

In fact, the Friday night primetime ESPN games this season between Baylor-TCU, Arizona State-Missouri and Boise-State Toledo have been averaging over 2 million viewers each game.

With possibly that many eyes on BYU each week, the Cougars are sure to gain more national exposure.

 

Pregame Fireside - Utah

Sep 19, 2011 - Posted by Jordan Christiansen at 11:05 am | Permalink

OREM, Utah - The BYU football team held its third pregame fireside of the season Friday evening at the Windsor Stake Center.

Head coach Bronco Mendenhall centered his remarks around 1 Nephi 10:19, "For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times ot come..." Mendenhall counseled those in attendance to continue to be "diligently seeking" truth and a testimony.

The fireside was highlighted by three musical numbers, including sophomore punter Brian Smith's rendition of the hymn "Be Still My Soul," accompanied on the piano by his mother. Senior defensive back Travis Uale, sophomore offensive lineman Manaaki Vaitai and junior offensive lineman Walter Kahaiali'i also sang a capella "When There's Love at Home." All players joined in the traditional singing of the primary song "We'll Bring the World His Truth."

Player speakers included junior deep snapper Reed Hornung. Hornung spoke of how his mother's counsel to "get in the car" when he wanted to quit football early in his high school career had since been an inspiration to him throughout his life. When experiencing trials on his mission, his mother again wrote "get in the car," telling him to once again move forward through hard times.

Senior wide receiver/holder Matt Marshall also spoke, describing his experiences of overcoming poor choices and growing as a person while playing football at BYU.

Y Tight End Weekend to feature several former All-Americans

Sep 16, 2011 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 8:03 pm | Permalink

PROVO, Utah — Many of the legendary tight ends in BYU history will be in Provo Sept. 16-17 for the Y Tight End Weekend. 

The event begins Friday evening with a dinner and auction featuring several All-American tight ends like Clay Brown, Gordon Hudson, Bryon Rex, Chris Smith, Itula Mili, Chad Lewis and Jonny Harline.

The festivities conclude on Saturday, Sept. 17, with a special ceremony at halftime of the BYU vs. Utah football game. All money raised during the weekend will be used to endow scholarships at BYU. One fully endowed athletic scholarship is approximately $250,000.

“Our goal is to raise enough money to endow a tight end scholarship,” said Chad Lewis, who was an Academic All-American tight end at BYU in 1996 and is currently the associate athletic director for development. “It’s an opportunity for us, as former student-athletes, to give back to the university and football program that gave us so much.” 

Event three of the 2011-12 Deseret First Duel set for Saturday

Sep 16, 2011 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 7:56 pm | Permalink

The BYU vs. Utah football game on Saturday marks the third event of the 2011-12 Deseret First Duel rivalry series. The Cougars currently lead the Duel 6-0, following victories in soccer on August 23 and women’s volleyball on September 10.

To celebrate the fifth year of the Deseret Duel and the long-standing rivalry, both schools will wear their home jerseys (blue and red) for the game Saturday and throughout the 2011-12 season regardless of event location.

The 2011-12 season should be unique as BYU and Utah will compete in different conferences for the first time ever. The Utes are now a member of the Pac 12, while the Cougars are independent in football and a member of the West Coast Conference in the majority of its other sports.

Deseret Duel Schedule (more dates and times will be announced at a later date)

  • Dec. 10, 6:30 p.m. Women's Basketball at BYU
  • Dec. 10, 6:30 p.m. Men's Basketball at BYU
  • Jan. 27, 7 p.m. Women's Gymnastics at Utah

The Duel: Round Five

In 2007, BYU, the University of Utah, and Deseret First Credit Union partnered to create the Deseret First Duel, a celebration of one of the nation's oldest and most spirited college rivalries.

Previously there had been no established series to recognize the athletic supremacy of the Cougars or Utes. The university that wins the Deseret First Duel each year has its name permanently engraved on large granite monuments located at both schools and holds bragging rights for the following year and beyond.

How the Deseret First Duel works

BYU and Utah compete against each other in baseball, men's and women's basketball, football, women's gymnastics, women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, women's volleyball, and men's and women's swimming. Points are awarded to the school that wins each game, meet, or match. A team trophy is also presented to the winner in each sport. BYU won the inaugural Deseret First Duel in 2007-08. Utah claimed the title in 2008-09 and BYU took it back in 2009-10 and repeated as champs in 2010-11.

There are 47 points available in 2011-12. The first team to amass 24 points will capture the fifth-annual Deseret First Duel title.

BYU Featured In BBC Documentary "Polynesian 'Luau' In Unfamiliar Surroundings"

Sep 16, 2011 - Posted by Kenny Cox at 10:50 am | Updated: September 16, 2011 11:11 am | Permalink

The BYU football team was recently featured in the BBC's documentary called "Polynesian 'Luau' In Unfamiliar Surroundings."

The documentary follows the Polynesian migration to Utah and the current culture in the state. It mentions that at times, as much as 30 percent of BYU's football team is of Polynesian descent.

For a time, the documentary was the most watched video on the BBC's US website, and a three-minute version aired on BBC Worldwide and PBS stations across the country.

An brief description from the BBC of the documentary here:

The state of Utah counts more Polynesians per capita than any other state on the American mainland. Lured by the Mormon church, immigrants and descendants from Tonga, Samoa and Hawaii have grown three times as fast as the rest of the state's population over the last decade.

But the community still struggles to adapt to the American culture. The youngest generation, often the first ones of the family born in the US, feel caught between two worlds. The result is higher-than-average gang violence and dropout rates.

The BBC's Franz Strasser went to Utah to see what challenges this small community still faces and how it plans to tackle them.

CLICK HERE to watch the documentary.

 

BYU Top in State

Sep 15, 2011 - Posted by Jordan Christiansen at 1:51 pm | Permalink

Brigham Young University jumped up four spots to 71st in the U.S. News & World Report 2012 Best Colleges rankings, released earlier this week.

The BYU football team has been taking advantage of the academics offered, posting a 3.0 cumulative team GPA, the highest cumulative team mark in years. Last season, running back Bryan Kariya earned Academic All-American Second Team honors and was the only running back from an FBS school to earn Academic-All-American.

Since Mendenhall took over the program in 2005, BYU earned seven Academic All-American honors, including six in the past three seasons.

The 350-page 2012 Best Colleges guidebook, which hits newsstands Sept. 20, ranks more than 1,400 four-year accredited colleges and universities. BYU falls into the category of "national universities," which includes schools that offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master's and doctoral degrees.

This year BYU also surged seven spots to 13th in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” category and is ranked 8th in the category of “Least Debt,” which compares the average debt carried by departing graduates. The Marriott School of Management is ranked 36th in the category of undergraduate business programs.

The Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology was also listed among the top engineering schools, with its undergraduate program ranked 82nd.

In specialty categories, the Marriott School moved up three spots to 14th in international business while also registering 21st in entrepreneurship.

Princeton and Harvard tied for the top spot in the "national universities" category, followed by Yale, Columbia and the California Institute of Technology.